Dominique Morisseau’s “Detroit ’67” has won the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History, Columbia University and Jean Kennedy Smith are expected to announce on Monday. The prize, which was created in 2012 and first awarded last year, was endowed by Ms. Smith to honor her late brother’s legacy and is announced around his birthday, Feb. 22. The award includes a $100,000 cash prize as well as assistance from the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University Libraries in creating a teaching website that will put the work in historical context, and offer study guides and scholarly discussion.
Ms. Morisseau’s work looks at the Detroit riots of July 1967 through two black siblings who have inherited their home and have conflicting plans for how to use it and a battered white woman who was rescued by the brother and a friend and brought to the house. It was given its premiere in March 2013 by the Public Theater in a partnership with the Classical Theater of Harlem and the National Black Theater. It is the first installment in a three-play cycle about Detroit, Ms. Morisseau’s hometown.
The other finalists for the prize were “Appropriate,” by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins; “Fun Home,” by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori; “Party People,” by Universes, a performance ensemble, and “The Road Weeps, the Well Runs Dry,” by Marcus Gardley (source).